Forty-eight Filipino American elected officials and leaders are among the over 250 Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) who have publicly thrown their support behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
The Fil-Ams include elected officials, California Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Todd Gloria; Artesia Councilmember and California Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair Melissa Ramoso; Peter Urscheler, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania mayor; and Hawaii state Senators Donovan Dela Cruz and Lorraine Inouye. Other high-profile names include actors Lou Diamond Philipps, Tia Carrere and Mark Dacascos.
Overall, the group consists of AAPI elected officials, community leaders, small business owners, activists and artists around the country.
“2020 is truly the most critical election of our lifetimes because the choice before us — and the consequences of our choices — could not be more stark. We need to elect a president who will bring leadership back to Washington, who can help re-center our nation’s moral compass, heal our nation’s soul, and bring us back to the path towards justice, equality, and integrity,” the leaders said in a statement.
The endorsement comes as Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment, making up close to 5% of all eligible voters this year. Chinese, Filipino and Indian Americans comprise the top three groups in the U.S. Asian electorate, according to a recent report from Pew Research Center.
California, New York, Texas, New Jersey and Hawaii are among the states with the largest share of Asian American eligible voters, it added.
In a 2018 Asian American Voter Survey released by APIAVote and AAPI Data, 46% of total Asian Americans surveyed said they were not contacted by the Democratic Party, while 56% said they received no communication from the Republican Party.
The same survey found that 22% of Filipinos surveyed said they had a “very favorable” impression of Trump, while 38% said “very unfavorable.” Meanwhile, 32% of Filipinos said they had a “somewhat favorable” impression of the Democratic Party and 28% said “somewhat favorable” of the Republican Party. Though AAPI voters have been often overlooked by the major political parties, the bloc may continue to show influence in key races and districts, especially in battleground states like Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Arizona.
The Trump campaign in May launched “Asian Americans for Trump,” co-chaired by Fil-Am Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee. The advisory board includes six individuals of Filipino descent in various leadership positions.
The full list of Fil-Ams supporting Biden include:
AAPI Caucus Leadership
- Dan Santos, Clark County (NV) Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
- Cora Quisumbing-King, New Hampshire Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Co-Chair
- Joshua Ang Price, Arkansas Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
- Melissa Ramoso, California Democratic Party AAPI Caucus Chair
- Angelito Tenorio, Democratic AAPI Caucus of Wisconsin (Ad Hoc) Co-Chair
State elected officials
- Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee, Guam Legislature
- Del. Kriselda Valderrama, Maryland General Assembly
- Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, Hawai’i Senate
- Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran, Hawai’i Senate
- Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Hawai’i Senate
- Rep. Della Bellati, Hawai’i House of Representatives
- Rep. Romy Cachola, Hawai’i House of Representatives
- Assemblymember Rob Bonta, California State Assembly
- Assemblymember Todd Gloria, California State Assembly
Local elected officials
- Brandon Elefante, Honolulu City Councilmember
- Joey Manahan, Honolulu City Councilmember
- Peter Urscheler, Phoenixville, PA Mayor
Former elected leaders
- Ben Cayetano, Former Governor of Hawai’i
- Velma Veloria, Former Washington State Representative
Appointed officials (past and present)
- Jason Tengco, Former Deputy Director for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
- Mike Ancheta Nisperos Jr., Chair of Vallejo Civil Service Commission
Policy leaders & advocates
- Maria Lourdes Tiglao, Truman National Security Project DC Chapter Director
- Nelson Garcia, President of the Washington Intergovernmental Professional Group
National community leaders
- Fritz Friedman, Co-Founder of Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment
- Irene B. Bueno, Board Member at Asian American Action Fund
- Irene Natividad, Co-Chair for Endorsement at Asian American Action Fund
State & local political leaders
- Gerald G. Gubatan, Past President of the Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats
- Mary Grace Barrios, Past President of the Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats
- Brickwood Galuteria, Former Chair of the Hawai’i Democratic Party
- Constantino “Coco” Alinsug, Massachusetts Democratic Party State Committee Member
- Bertran D Palacios, Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands Central Executive Committee Member
- Shawna Indalecio, Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands Central Executive Committee Member
- Sophia Perez, Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands National Delegate
- Loren Nadres, Board Member at Asian American Action Fund
- Teodora Gaite Schipper, Past President of the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh Inc
- Brad Baldia, Co-Chair of Pennsylvania AAPIs for Biden
Candidates for office
- Marvin Lim, Candidate for Georgia General Assembly
Arts & media
- Lou Diamond Phillips, Actor and Director
- Mark Dacascos, Actor
- Tia Carrere, Actress and Singer
Activist & advocates
- Joselito Laudencia, California
- Loreto Quevedo Dimaandal, California
- Erin Pangilinan, California
- Patricio N. Abinales, Hawai’i
- Alberto Manalo, New Hampshire
- Frances A. Castro, Northern Marianas Islands
- Maria Tenorio Camacho, Northern Marianas Islands
- Ditas Valenzuela, Northern Marianas Islands